Cherry Chocolate Fridge Cake

fridge cakeThis is a great, indulgent no-bake cake. Lots of amazing rich flavours – fresh cherries, dark chocolate and crunchy granola. It’s a bit of a bodge recipe, chucking in handfuls of lovely tasty ingredients, you can add whatever you like – dessicated coconut, honeycomb, glace cherries, enjoy!

You will need:

350g dark chocolate, 120g butter, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 2 tbsp milk, a handful of – hazelnuts, fresh cherries, granola, raisins, and whatever else you fancy.

First of all melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. When the chocolate has melted add the butter and syrup and stir everything together. Take the pan off the heat when everything has melted together. Add the milk and leave to cool while you chop the cherries into quarters and remove the stones. Add the granola, raisins, cherries and hazelnuts to the melted chocolate and then stir everything again.

fridge cakeCover a 1 inch deep baking tray with cling film and grease it with butter. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and then pop in the fridge for 2 hours. Chop into nice chunky slices and enjoy.

This is a lot tastier and cheaper than shop bought cereal bars. It’s probably not the healthiest of snacks but it’s fresh, delicious and easy to make.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Cinnamon Waffles with Caramelised Apple

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I haven’t been well recently so I’m sorry for the lack of blogging! However I did make some pretty awesome apple cinnamon waffles! These are the ultimate feel better meal – horrendously bad for you but oh so delicious. These would make a great birthday breakfast or a lovely pudding after a fancy meal.

You will need: 250g plain flour, a teaspoon of baking powder,  30g caster sugar, 475ml milk, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 eggs, 30ml melted margarine
For the caramelised apples: 2 apples, 50g sugar, 50g butter, 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar in a mixer and whisk them together.  Break your eggs into a jug with the milk in it and beat together.  Add to the mixer and whisk everything together until little bubbles start to form. Leave to stand.

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Turn the waffle maker on and when it is ready place a little bit of margarine on the plates to stop the waffles from sticking. Pour a ladle of waffle mix onto the plates and close the waffle maker until the waffles are cooked. Our machine has a light which says when they are done, check the instructions on yours.

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For the apples heat the butter in a pan until it starts to melt then add the sugar. Peel the apples and chop into slices.  When the caramel starts to bubble pop the apples into the pan. Leave on a high heat until the apples are soft – poke with a knife to check.

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Layer the waffles with ice cream and apples and then pour the extra syrup over the waffles.

This is a fab treat, if you have any extra waffles they will last for a couple of days.  The apples should be really sweet and tasty, with a crunchy toffee coating.

Love, Mrs Gardom

Chocolate, Ginger, Almond Easter Cake

easter layer cakeI had my in laws up for Easter this year and wanted to make a really special dessert that would feed 6, 2 of which had given up chocolate for lent! I thought about warm puddings, cheesecake, torte, all sorts, so I decided to make a combo. This was a seriously amazing dessert, super indulgent, really tasty and just so naughty! A crunchy ginger nut base, a layer of chocolate torte, topped with an almond cream – this is a real showstopper. Make it the day before you plan to serve and don’t think about the calories!!

You will need: 1 pack ginger nuts, 100g butter, 300g dark chocolate, 700ml double cream, 4 tablespoons golden syrup, 3 tablespoons soft cheese, 50g ground almonds, 4 tablespoons cinnamon, 4 chocolate bunnies, cocoa for decoration.

First of all empty the pack of ginger nuts into a large bowl and crush them until they are like breadcrumbs. Melt the butter in a pan and add the gingernut crumbs to the pan, add the golden syrup and stir until everything is combined. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper the size of your tin and place it in the bottom. I used a large springform tin. Pour the gingernut mixture into the bottom of the tin and press down with the back of a wooden spoon to make a flat layer. Cover the top of the tin with clingfilm and pop in the fridge.

For the chocolate torte layer, break the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Measure out 500ml cream and the chocolate starts to melt stir in the cream, a little at a time. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, add a tablespoon of golden syrup and 2 tablespoons cinnamon. When all the ingredients are combined, whisk in a large electric mixer until little bubbles start to form then pour the mixture over the gingernut base. Clingfilm the top of the in again and leave in the fridge for another hour.

For the almond cream topping add the rest of the cream to a large mixer and whisk until it starts to thicken. Add 2 tablespoons cinnamon, then the soft cheese. Keep whisking everything together, then add the ground almonds. I whisked my mixture for about ten minutes until it formed a lovely thick creamy texture.  Check in the fridge that the torte layer has set, it should be firm to the touch. Then spoon the almond cream onto the torte layer. Use a wooden spoon to flatten the top. Place your chocolate bunnies on the top and sprinkle with a little cocoa. Cover with clingfilm and leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Easter Layer CakeWhen you are ready to serve the cake, release the springform sides of the tin and lift it off. Place the cake onto a plate or a cake stand and serve!

This is one of the most complicated recipes I have created, it is also one of the best. I think it’s great to have a lovely, restaurant quality dessert for special occasions. The almonds, chocolate, cinnamon and ginger complement each other perfectly and this is a perfect Easter treat.easter layer cake

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Banana, Fruit and Nut Squares

   banana fruit nut squaresWell I thought my chocolate fudge traybake was a success so I decided to do another! I had some bananas in that were past their best (I like them when they are green!) so I decided to make a banana based cake. I must admit it was a bit of a throw everything in and hope for the best recipe, but it tastes great! Instead of just banana bread, these tasty squares are packed with raisins, nuts, maple syrup and bananas – awesome!

You will need: maple syrup, 150g sugar, 100g butter, 100g self raising flour, 25g plain flour, 3 overripe bananas, 40g chopped nuts, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, 50g raisins.

First of all preheat your oven to 190 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, then pour a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup onto the greased baking tray (it makes the top of the squares lovely and gooey). 20140314_143136Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork, till it forms a sort of puree. Cream your butter and sugar together in a mixer and add the eggs, banana and milk. Sift in the flour, add 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and mix it all together. Then add your raisins and nuts, mix together, and then pour the mixture into the baking tray. 20140314_143301Bake for 25 minutes, turn out on a wire rack and chop into squares.

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p style=”text-align:center;”>This is a really lovely bake, with a light, moist texture and loads of great flavours. And it has fruit in so you could even say it was healthy (I’m not convinced either!) Eat a slice as an afternoon snack with a big cup of tea, or drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy for pudding!banana fruit nut squares

Love, Mrs Gardom

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Chocolate Fudge Traybake

chocolate fudge traybakeI was watching Mary Berry Cooks the other night and she made a chocolate traybake – I thought I’d have a go at my own, I’ve used elements of her recipe (Thanks Mary!) but added my own twist. Instead of the usual cakey texture, this chocolate traybake has a really chewy, sticky fudge texture, with a crunchy top – which I love.

You will need:60g hot chocolate (it’s a sweeter flavour than cocoa and fudge should be sweet), 3 eggs, 150ml milk, 1 tsp baking powder, 100g margarine, 275g sugar, 175g self raising flour, 120ml boiling water, 50g white chocolate buttons.chocolate fudge traybakePut the cocoa powder and the boiling water into your mixer and whisk it together. Then add in the butter and sugar and mix. Add the eggs and milk and whisk and then add the baking powder and flour. Crush up the white chocolate with a rolling pin into little pieces, add them to the mix and make sure everything is combined.

Heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking  tray with baking parchment. The cake mixture should be really runny and gloopy so you are able to pour it into the baking tray.chocolate fudge traybake

Place into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and leave your cake in the oven for another 20 minutes. Take the cake out and check it is cooked (pop a knife in the middle- if it comes out clean you’re good). Turn onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

chocolate fudge traybakeI served this with a homemade chocolate sauce as a dessert – my Swiss Grandma’s recipe, and I will post that soon! If you want to make a really posh dessert, you could use cookie cutters to cut the tray bake into round shapes and smother with homemade chocolate sauce. This is a lovely gooey, tasty treat, perfect for having friends over or a slice yourself.

Love, Mrs Gardom

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The Ultimate Shroomaloumi Burger

Mushroom Halloumi BurgerFancy burger chains are popping up everywhere in Liverpool – Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Byrons, even Nando’s do mushroom and halloumi burgers – but they come at a price – you won’t pay less than £10 for a meal (and you have to pay extra for chips, what?!). I like the idea of a simple food like a burger being made all gourmet – with fancy cheeses, relishes and veggies piled high so I thought I would create my own ultimate burger – taking all the things we love the most from eating out and putting it in my own fabulous burger! The mushrooms and halloumi are marinated so do this step a couple of hours before you want to eat (If you are super organized do it the day before and pop in the fridge for 24 hours)!

You will need (for 2 burgers): 2 large flat mushrooms, 2 burger buns, 175g halloumi cheese, olive oil, peri peri sauce, 2 garlic cloves, mixed herbs, lemon juice, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise.

Take a large flat dish (I used a casserole dish but a mixing bowl would be fine) and pop 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 pinch of mixed herbs, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon peri peri sauce into the dish. Crush your garlic and add this as well. Mix everything together so all the ingredients are combined.MarinadeChop you halloumi into big chunky slices, peel the mushrooms (they soak up the flavours better) and take out the stalks. Put these in the marinade and rub the marinade all over the halloumi and mushrooms – then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge.

DSCF1527Place the mushrooms and halloumi on a baking tray, drizzle any leftover marinade on to the tray and pop on the grill for 7 minutes – make sure you keep an eye on them. Now for the important part – assemblage! Spread some mayo on the bottom of the bun, then layer lettuce, tomato, mushroom, halloumi, lettuce, mayo – perfect! Serve with some homemade chips (check out the recipe on the beer battered halloumi page)

This is one of my fave meals – the marinade adds a lovely subtle flavour and flat mushrooms and halloumi is a match made in heaven. It’s good to have veggie dish with so much flavour, this would be great to have at a BBQ or having friends over watching a film.DSCF1558Love, Mrs Gardom

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Hazelnut Mocha Cake

2014-02-17 16.41.33I love a good hazelnut mocha – chocolate, coffee and nuts = perfection. So why not make it into a cake? This is a lovely dense chocolate cake with smooth coffee butter icing and a nutty flavour running through the sponge – very luxurious! I haven’t used too much cocoa as it could have overwhelmed the coffee, and with these quantities the flavours are lovely and balanced.

You will need: 200g margarine, 200g caster sugar, 175g self raising flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 75g chopped mixed nuts, 30g cocoa (make sure it’s good quality – I used Starbucks hot chocolate powder), 2 eggs, 150g icing sugar, 75g margarine, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon strong coffee granules, hazelnuts for decoration.

Line two round cake tins with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Blend together the sugar and margarine in a mixer, when smooth add an egg at a time until the mixture is combined. Then add your cocoa powder and mix thoroughly, add the chopped nuts to the mixture making sure they are spread evenly throughout the cake.2014-02-17 16.47.08 Now sift in the flour and add a tablespoon of baking powder. When everything has mixed together divide the cake mixture between the tins and pop in the oven for 25 minutes. 2014-02-17 16.45.57When your cakes have baked, turn them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. 2014-02-17 16.43.35While the cakes are cooling whisk the icing sugar slowly into 75g margarine. Put a tablespoon of milk and a tablespoon of coffee into a mug and microwave it for twenty seconds. Add the coffee mix to the icing sugar and whisk everything together until it is a nice smooth consistency.2014-02-17 16.45.05Turn out one cake onto a plate and use half the coffee icing to cover the top if it evenly. Put the other cake on top and ice this, I used a knife to get a nice swirly finish. Then simply decorate the top with hazelnuts. 2014-02-17 16.37.33This cake really is gorgeous – perfect for a special occasion, or just a special treat for yourself!

Love, Mrs Gardom

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